Voice of San Diego (VOSD) was launched in 2005 after founders Neil Morgan and Buzz Woolley “felt the region desperately needed more reporting, analysis and journalistic competition.” It is considered the first digital nonprofit news organization created to serve a local community.
In its “What We Stand For” piece, the outlet provides mainly two things: a clear definition of what it’s trying to achieve and what values and concerns guide reporters in this mission. As NYU professor Jay Rosen wrote in a recent essay, that’s a way to say: “here’s where we’re coming from with our journalism.”
“Journalism is best when pursued with purpose. It is easy to take stances against small problems but we want to tackle San Diego’s big problems. When we do that, reporters and editors should be clear about what they’re trying to achieve.”voice of san diego
Here is what stands out from the VOSD statement:
A clear set of values and concerns
How does a newsroom decide what is newsworthy? It’s not that easy for a reader to figure out why some topics are news and others aren’t. That’s why it’s interesting to see VOSD clearly state its main topics of interest, based on what it considers to be the community’s concerns. This is the list:
- Government transparency, open meetings and accountability.
- A well-informed, well-educated community ready to participate in civic affairs.
- Government agencies that are just, efficient and excellent.
- High quality education for all children.
- Quality housing that is affordable to all residents.
- World class infrastructure that supports free enterprise and job creation.
- A robust and inclusive arts and culture scene.
- A clean environment, healthy ecosystem
- Preparations for the long-term challenges of drought, energy supply and climate change.
A guide for staff
It’s not just the audience that benefits from a Coming From statement. In this excerpt, VOSD explains that the list of shared values help reporters and editors to guide their work.
- VOSD: “Voice of San Diego’s staff and trustees adopted this list of shared values to help illuminate what we’re pursuing and give reporters the mandate to pursue them aggressively and irreverently.”